Industry bodies back property development academy

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  • 19/09/2017
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Industry bodies back property development academy
A non-profit skills initiative established by specialist mortgage lender LendInvest has received public support from three major industry bodies.

The Centre for Entrepreneurs, Homes for Scotland, and the Home Builders Federation have praised the LendInvest Property Development  Academy, which was established in 2016 to help develop the skills of aspiring and new small-scale housing developers.

So far, more than 215 applicants have been selected to attend the academy’s two-day courses around the country. The courses are taught by industry professionals with local knowledge of what it takes to get schemes built on time and on budget.

By the end of 2017, the academy will have hosted nine courses in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol and Birmingham. Dates for eight courses in 2018 have been released.

The launch of the academy in Scotland has also been endorsed by Homes for Scotland, the voice of the Scottish homebuilding industry, following an endorsement from Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart MSP in June.

The Home Builder’s Federation has supported the academy since late 2016, advising on course content, providing expert speakers and identifying property entrepreneurs who would benefit from the programme.

John Slaughter, director of external affairs at the Federation, said: “There is a serious undersupply of homes in the UK, and more than ever, the homebuilding industry is a difficult professional endeavour for new entrants. SME home builders benefit greatly from initiatives like the LendInvest Property Development Academy.”

Nicola Barclay, chief executive of Homes for Scotland, added: “Attracting more small builders and developers into home building is absolutely crucial to increasing the industry’s capacity and addressing Scotland’s housing crisis. Support for those starting out in the sector is key.”

The Centre for Entrepreneurs, a cross-sector think tank, has also endorsed the academy.

“Solving the housing crisis will require a new generation of property businesses, but to achieve this, aspiring entrepreneurs need the confidence to start their companies and the support to see them through to scale,” said director Matt Smith.

“The LendInvest Property Development Academy is an essential industry initiative, providing a launch pad for early-stage property professionals and helping break down the barriers to entry in the sector.”

Ian Thomas (pictured), co-founder and chief investment officer at LendInvest, said it is “encouraging” that housing remains a top priority for government and the major industry groups championing the increase of housing stock.

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